The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Friday March 24th

America’s food system requires cultural changes


Thank you to The Daily Tar Heel and senior writer Christopher Sopher for the excellent series on “The Food Equation” in this week’s paper.

But one suggestion — the headline from Wednesday’s article, “Costly foods” contradicts Sopher’s three days of insightful reporting about the crisis and challenges that shape how we eat in America today.

A better title would be “Good food is not cheap.” If we care about our health, the environment and the ethical consequences of how we spend our hard-earned money these days, Americans will choose to buy real food grown by real farmers, and yes, that food has a cost.

To grow food sustainably, fairly, without subsidies from the government, without additives and processing that gives foods an unnaturally long “shelf-life” has a cost, but what could be more worth the price?

Sopher argues that consumers have the power to turn the American food system around— and that starts with rejecting the distorted dichotomy between falsely “cheap” food and costly, “high-end” organic food.

All Americans deserve the right to purchase affordable, safe food, regardless of class and “lifestyle.”

Marcie Cohen Ferris
Associate Professor
Department of American Studies


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